Message of Congratulations from His Eminence Mar Meelis Zaia to His Grace Mar Awraham Youkhanis
Beloved brother in Christ, His Grace, Mar Awraham Youkhanis , Bishop of Western Europe.
Greetings to the Lord Jesus Christ
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ, for he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight in love” (Eph 1-3-4)
I am rejoiced to see our Lord Jesus Christ choosing a great and distinguished priest, with the grace given to him from the heights, devoting himself to serve the Church of the East.
In that holy hour of your episcopal consecration, as the Holy Spirit was descending upon you, I thanked the Lord for that, and for His good divine will and His heavenly blessings, for setting me a witness to all your consecrations from deacon to bishop.
As you serve His holy Church in the heart of London and lead the diocese of Western Europe; which you will make it a spiritual lighthouse for the advancement of the blessed Assyrian Church of the East, as you have done in Sydney.
Dear Pastor, the good shepherd, I was a witness to you, as you discovered the depth of your priestly identity in serving the parishes in Australia and New Zealand. I was a witness as you ploughed in the vineyard of the Church of the East, not looking back, but forward, to prepare the fertile soil for the seeds of the heavenly sower. A man of prayer, sacrifice and devotion to the faith of the Church of the East.
I witnessed the manifestation of your love for the Church in Sydney, where you were always the eager to fulfil where the Lord has assigned you to serve the parish
Your message and speech at the ceremony, which was held in honour of His Holiness the Patriarch Mar Gewargis III Sliwa, was wonderful, and even more so, you have been able to reflect the true depths of your thoughts, the splendour and originality of your spirit.
I am certain that the nobility of your morals, your humbleness and your approach resulting from listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, will touch the hearts of many of the sons and daughters of your diocese. Not only in Western Europe but throughout the world, and even those who may doubt your ability to make the Church better.
I thank you personally and on behalf of the dioceses of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon, for all that you have given us. Congratulations to you and your esteemed family, for your spiritual growth through divine grace.
May God fill you with His wisdom in dealing with the tasks which the Holy Spirit has led you to, and a righteous son of the Assyrian Church of the East, a leader of the diocese of Western Europe, a faithful witness of Christ in the world, and a light in the sky of the Church of the East and grant you with fruitful work.
I am very proud of you as a true brother born in our beloved diocese in Australia.
The Lord who has been with you from the beginning of your journey will continue to aid you to turn all the barren land to the fertile fields of the Assyrian Church of the East, as you lead your parish to the right avenue and fill you with every blessing and divine wisdom.
I pray to that the Lord, who has chosen you as a bishop of the Diocese of Western Europe, will keep you in good health and assist you for the success of your diocese.
May you continue to be a great blessing for the Church of the East.
Mar Meelis Zaia
Archbishop of the Assyrian Church of the East
Diocese of Australia, New Zealand and Lebanon